Biodiverse Urban Habitats in Ioannina, Greece

Biodiverse Urban Habitats in Ioannina, Greece

By: Austin Perez One of Greece’s largest cities has proven to be an unexpected biodiversity hotspot supporting an urban habitat for a diverse array of vegetative species. Ioannina is a city in the northwestern region of Greece with a population of over 112,000 people, and is full of centuries worth of history and culture. But researchers have recently discovered that Ioannina is also a biodiversity hotspot and provides a fruitful habitat for a wide diversity of plant species. A recent study has discovered that Ioannina has 11 different habitat types supporting 379 plant species, 27 of which are of conservation interest. Over half (68%) of all of the plant species and subspecies studied were found to be existing in anthropogenic habitats, which were either designed or altered by human activity. This case study presented by Ioannina exemplifies that the anthropogenic habitats of European cities can function as important areas for biodiversity. The existence of biodiverse habitats in city areas demonstrates the importance of promoting urban planning policies that incorporate a focus on nature conservation. This is a key strategy of the WILD Cities Project, which is striving to support the existence and productivity of wild nature in urban areas all over the world in congruence with the Nature Needs Half vision. >> Read more here: Urban habitats as a refuge for biodiversity: A case study in Greece © Aimilios Petrou Source: Kantsa, A., Tscheulin, T., Junker, R.R. et al. (2013). “Urban biodiversity hotspots wait to get discovered: The example of the city of Ioannina, NW Greece”. Landscape and Urban Planning. 120: 129 137. DOI:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2013.08.013.    ...

Two Yukon First Nations and Two Yukon Environmental Organizations launch Legal Action against Yukon Government to protect Peel River Watershed

  Press Release: Two Yukon First Nations and Two Yukon Environmental Organizations launch Legal Action against Yukon Government to protect Peel River Watershed  January 27, 2014 Introduction:  Vancouver, BC – Today in Vancouver Thomas R. Berger, O.C., Q.C. announced that a lawsuit is being filed against the Yukon Government on behalf of two Yukon First Nations and two Yukon environmental organizations. Berger and his clients, the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Yukon Chapter (CPAWS Yukon) and the Yukon Conservation Society are launching a legal action to force the Yukon Government to implement a Land Use Plan that would protect 54,000 square kilometres of wilderness in northern Yukon’s Peel River Watershed, against mining and other industrial development. >> Read the full press release: Peel Watershed Media Release Jan 27 2014        ...

Should we set aside half for nature?

  Should we set aside half for nature? Written by: Ian Brown Published by: The Globe and Mail, Oct. 14 2013   Introduction: No one can say Alberta’s oil sands have been an easy child. The bitumen pits fuel a third of Canada’s economy. They also produce some of the world’s most emission-intensive oil, and are responsible for more climate change and environmental stress than conventional oil. That standoff – is today’s revenue worth future ecological disaster? – has been bitter and lasting. The Keystone XL pipeline may be cancelled by environmental protest; ditto Northern Gateway. Conservationists demonize the oil industry, and vice versa. Meanwhile Canada begs the U.S. to buy our dilbit. And over the entire fracas hang the tatters of Canada’s reputation. We’ve devolved from the world’s most visible patch of wilderness to its dirtiest Harry. Into this thicket an Alberta conservationist has thrown a ground-clearing idea. Harvey Locke is a fourth-generation Albertan, a mainstay of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, and the Liberal who almost won Calgary Centre in the last federal election. Mr. Locke was a keynote speaker last week at the 10th World Wilderness Congress in Salamanca, Spain, where he declared that Canada should permanently freeze development on half the Mackenzie River Basin. He also proposed we pay for it with a 1-per-cent levy on every barrel coming out of the oil sands. >> Read the full article:       ...
Social HALF: The Nature Strategy for Sustainability

Social HALF: The Nature Strategy for Sustainability

          Social HALF: The Nature Strategy for Sustainability  Written by: Vance G. Martin and Julie Anton Randall Published in: International Journal of Wilderness, Volume 19, Number 2, August 2013 Introduction:  Social HALF is a concept that bridges the often disparate fields of nature conservation and human development. It is the human dimension complement Nature Needs Half of (NNH) – an aspirational and practical vision of sustainability (Martin 2011; Sylven 2011) based on the scientific information that keeping at least half of wild nature intact and interconnected is vital to ensuring continued life-supporting services to all species. The “half” in nature can be composed of interconnected large land- and seascapes or a connected mosaic of wild nature found in parks, forests, refuges, working lands, and waters managed with conservation as a primary value. NNH is also a cost- efficient and effective means of mitigating climate change by keeping atmosphere-altering chemicals such as carbon, methane, and others safely locked up (WILD 2009). Social HALF is the application of NNH to conceptualize a holistic, inclusive, and rational approach to sustainable development whereby the social and economic needs of human communities are addressed by protecting a specific quantity (at least half) and quality (high-functioning ecosystems and intact biodiversity) of nature. This WILD Foundation working paper, entitled the “Nature Strategy for Sustainability” (NSS), is formulated by a network of nature conservationists and human development practitioners that prioritizes the protection of nature for its fundamental role in alleviating human suffering, enhancing human security, and promoting economic prosperity. When NSS is fully established it will support international guidelines, replicable models, and practical...

Nature Needs Half: A Necessary and Hopeful New Agenda for Protected Areas

  Nature Needs Half: A Necessary and Hopeful New Agenda for Protected Areas Written by: Harvey Locke Published in: IUCN PARKS Journal, Volume 19.2, 2013 Abstract:  Conservation targets should be based on what is necessary to protect nature in all its expressions. When in 1988 the Brundtland report called for tripling the world’s protected area estate (which was then at 3 to 4 per cent of the land area) there was a strong belief that sustainable development would ensure the proper care for nature on the rest of the unprotected earth. This has proven wrong. We therefore must materially shift our protected areas target to protect at least half of the world, land and water, in an interconnected way to conform with what conservation biologists have learned about the needs of nature. Instead we have set goals that are politically determined, with arbitrary percentages that rest on an unarticulated hope that such non-scientific goals are a good first step towards some undefined better future outcome. This has been a destructive form of self-censorship. It is time for conservationists to reset the debate based on scientific findings and assert nature’s needs fearlessly. >> Read the full article:  ...
The Flathead River Valley

The Flathead River Valley

By: Austin Perez The Flathead River Valley is a vast area of magnificently beautiful wilderness that spans across the United States/Canada border from British Columbia to Montana. Conservation groups have just announced that more than $10 million in private and public funds have been acquired to protect the Flathead River Valley from mining and oil and gas development. In doing so, a major step has been taken towards ensuring the conservation of this remarkable area of wild nature. For over 20 years, environmentalists have been working to ensure the protection and conservation of the Flathead River Valley as a critical element of a mission to preserve wild nature from Yellowstone to Yukon.  “Y2Y” is a great example of a large-scale, transboundary conservation practice promoting ecosystem connectivity that perfectly exemplifies the Nature Needs Half approach to conservation. Please check out The WILD Foundation’s blog post for more information about the great news regarding Flathead...
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